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Company failures leap 81% higher as inflation weighs on UK firms

·2-min read

The number of companies going bust rocketed higher over the past three months as soaring inflation started to bite for UK firms.

Company failures shot 81% higher over the three months to June against the same period last year, according to official figures from the insolvency service.

The total number of registered insolvencies in the quarter was the highest for almost 13 years.

The figures also showed that, after seasonal adjustment, corporate insolvencies were 13% higher than during the first quarter 2022.

Between April 1 and June 30, the Government reported 5,629 insolvencies, largely driven by 4,908 creditors’ voluntary liquidations, the highest quarterly figure since records began in 1960.

It also recorded 368 compulsory liquidations, 320 administrations and 32 company voluntary arrangements (CVAs).

The new data means that one in 228 active companies tumbled into liquidation over the past year.

Insolvencies over the quarter included the collapse of online fast-fashion brand Missguided.

The retailer called in insolvency specialists after it was issued with a winding-up petition by suppliers owed millions of pounds, before it was snapped up by Mike Ashley’s Frasers group in a rescue deal.

Samantha Keen, UK turnaround and restructuring strategy partner at EY-Parthenon, said: “The record levels of creditors’ voluntary liquidations are the first tranche of insolvencies we expected to see involving companies that have struggled to stay viable without the lifeline of government support provided over the pandemic.

“We expect further insolvencies in the year ahead among larger businesses who are struggling to adapt to challenging trading conditions, tighter capital, and increased market volatility.

“While many companies have been grappling with rising costs and supply chain issues in the first half of the year, falling consumer confidence and demand is likely to be the next significant headwind.”

It came as figures from the Insolvency Service also showed that the number of people going financially insolvent across England and Wales between April and June was 7% higher than the same period in 2021.

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